Isabel Wilkerson is an American journalist and author. She is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

The Warmth of Other Suns won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction. Outside of her books, Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994. This win made her the first black woman journalist to win a Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting.

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (2010)Description / Buy at
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (2020)Description / Buy at

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration is the story of how from 1915 to 1970, many black citizens fled the southern United States for a better life in northern and western cities. In this book, Wilkerson compares this epic migration from the South to other migrations in history. For this book, Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people and used her reporting skills to gain access to new data and official records. To tell her story, Wilkerson focuses on three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, George Starling, and Robert Foster. Each of whom have their own unique stories of perseverance.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America over the years. Once again, Wilkerson deeply researches her work to uncover how America has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Wilkerson links the caste systems of America with those of India and Nazi Germany, as she explore the pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations. Still, she remains hopeful for change as she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive divisions of the country.

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